TTUISD Graduate to Work at Olympic Games
by Lucy Worley
August 4, 2016
It's not every day an 18-year old is handpicked to work at the Olympic games, let alone be selected to work for their International Relations and Protocol Center. However, this is exactly what has happened for Brazilian TTUISD graduate, Pedro Chediak.
Fluent in four languages, Pedro quickly realized he had a unique opportunity to work with the International Olympic Committee as the 2016 games began to take shape. However, Pedro said that being accepted to work for the Olympics was no easy task.
“My mother was the one who first gave me the idea of volunteering for the Olympics. She insisted that because of my education and experience, I would almost be guaranteed a position.”
Pedro wasn't so sure, but he decided to try. What followed was a lengthy application process, online exams, in-person meetings and interviews, and then finally – an invitation letter from the International Olympic Committee.
As the 2016 Olympic games approaches, Pedro has been helping to prepare his city of Rio de Janeiro to host the event. He said though, that he traces much of the persistence and strong ambition that granted him this opportunity, back to his time earning his Texas High School Diploma through TTUISD, an experience he looks back on with nostalgia and gratitude.
“I think the greatest benefit I gained (with TTUISD) was my love for learning. Grades and tests don't always prove what you know. What really proves a person's knowledge is how much you like what you know.”
As Pedro continued to share about his experience with TTUISD, he especially acknowledged the time he spent in Texas for summer camps.
“I felt more inspired to study after coming to Texas. The camp was a catalyst to where I am today. I go deeper. I like asking questions. I don't like accepting things without thinking about them. Some people are proud of their diploma, I am proud of my knowledge.”
From 2012 – 2014, Pedro was concurrently enrolled in the TTUISD program and his Brazilian high school, balancing both of these programs while also studying for his college entrance exam. When asked if managing all of this coursework was challenging, he animatedly responded, “Of course! When I was balancing all of this work it started getting really hard. Everything was changing, so I learned quickly that I had to manage my time better.”
Pedro describes himself today as a “time maker.” He explained that even though the shift to this way of thinking was difficult at first, his self-discipline has created opportunities and opened doors that many people overlook because they are not intentional with their time.
Today, Pedro studies engineering in one of the top universities in Brazil. The year he took his entrance exam, he placed second nationally. He speaks Portuguese, English, French and Spanish fluently and has his sights set on now learning German. When he is not working on his engineering research, he is spending time on his other passion – literature, particularly Elizabethan English. Pedro said that he loves learning about the British Monarchy, Sir Oliver Cromwell, and other parts of England's literary history.
Pedro remembers literature being his favorite class in the TTUISD Curriculum. When probed to share his favorite book from this class, his answer was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In fact, Pedro loves literature so much that he struggled when it came to committing to engineering as his degree plan.
“At TTUISD, I was great at math and chemistry, but when you get to the university level, everything gets much harder. It makes you wonder if you're in the right field. You start to realize this is what you may do for the rest of your life.”
In the end, he made the decision to study engineering – the field he felt he could do the most good in.
“I want my job to change Brazil. I want to change how people see Brazil and to give people options they may not have right now. Many people want to fly to another country and live there, but to me, it would be like a captain abandoning his ship. Engineers should be a changing force in their society.”
It's for that reason that Pedro wants to stay in Brazil and make changing his nation the work of his life, so generations after him have every opportunity without ever having to leave Brazil's borders.
Whether in Brazil or anywhere else, when Pedro thinks to his future, he knows there are many opportunities that await him because of the education he has received. He attributes much of his success to the value of communication emphasized at TTUISD, whether that is being fluent in multiple languages, or just possessing the desire to learn from other cultures.
“When you devote time to improving your communication, an understanding of culture is the gift that you receive. I have been able to learn and visit with people from England to Texas, to Haiti, all the way to Morocco. To even have the desire to learn about their history and culture is something I am grateful was instilled in me.”
Pedro recounts that though he felt shy going into TTUISD, his love for communication and knowledge birthed a confidence in him that has taken him farther than he could have ever imagined. It is a confidence that will serve him well as he now takes on his biggest challenge yet by working with the Olympics.
So what is Pedro's advice to anyone else thinking about enrolling in TTUISD?
“TTUISD isn't about increased knowledge or a stricter schedule. It's about discovering a better version of you within yourself; one that you may not have known was there. Yes it is hard, but it is so worth it. It will give you time to do what you really love. In your future, the culture and networking will prove to be very important. Just don't give up before ever trying it. Not trying is always worse than failing.”